If Lao Tzu had never been (and many say he wasn’t) the author of “The Tao Te Ching,” the Way would remain. The teaching would stand on it’s own regardless of who wrote it. Following the Way is merely acquiring wisdom by simply observing the flow of natural events and moving lock step within it.
If Siddhartha had never become the Buddha his teachings of personal responsibility and enlightenment would have remained. His teachings were based on the Veda’s of India, not on his person. He claimed enlightenment was available to all through the process of “death to self” and the birthing of “oneness”.
If Jesus would have never been the messiah and worshiped as the son of God anymore than the others, his teachings would have been just as viable because most of them were also draw from ancient Indian text.
All these teachings from all these different men had this one thing in common . . . the pull towards a higher, more aware way of life.
The followers of Jesus did one better by melding their teacher into the Godhead by claiming him to be Saviour and Son of God. In time He became a cult figure of such power and strength that the mere acknowledgement of his name was enough for an individual person to be saved for eternity from the wrath of hell (that place reserved for all who chose NOT to acknowledge his name) If it were proven Jesus was not the son of God nor did he have the power of salvation to give, the Christian religion would die.
Without Lao Tzu, The Tao would go on. Without Siddhartha, Buddhism would remain viable. Without Jesus Christ the corner stone would be pulled from the foundation and the whole structure of Christianity would collapse into a heap of rubble.
Today it seems to me that segments of the Christian, Muslim, as well as Judaism religion have all gone over the top in self righteous zeal by declaring themselves exclusive.
We can’t forget there are two groups in these churches. Those above yes, but also the believers who have taken their master’s teachings to heart and are working their way towards enlightenment just like the Taoist and the Buddhist.
Most major religion has their holiday, today is celebrating Jesus’s resurrection. Is it true? Who knows?
But as I see it this is a day having special meaning to millions of good, solid, people who seek only to believe in the Son of God and possess the security that the belief promises. To these people who try their best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I say more power to you . . . .and I call you brother . . . because that’s exactly what I am doing also, but as a Taoist.